By RTT News,
February 14, 2014, 02:12:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - European stocks are likely to open lower on Friday as investors keep a close eye on the latest political developments in Italy. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced that he would formally submit his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano today following the withdrawal of support for the coalition government by his own center-left Democratic Party (PD). His resignation paves the way for centre-left Matteo Renzi to form a new government.
Traders also look forward to fourth-quarter gross domestic product data from France, Italy, Germany and the euro-zone due out later in the day after the European Central Bank gave no signs of an imminent rate cuts banking on further recovery in the euro zone.
Across the Atlantic, industrial production and consumer sentiment data may garner market attention in the wake of recent spate of mixed economic news.
The Asian markets are trading mostly higher after Chinese inflation data came in broadly in line with estimates, giving leeway for the central bank to loosen policy to kick start a faster recovery. Loans at Chinese banks increased for the ninth straight quarter to its highest level in two years at the end of 2013, another report showed, capping overall gains to some extent. Japanese shares bucked the upward trend, with the Nikkei average falling 1.5 percent as the yen jumped to a one-week high against the dollar.
In domestic corporate news, German steel giant ThyssenKrupp reported a wider net loss of 69 million euros in the first quarter, versus a 16 million euros loss last year.
Computer interface devices maker Logitech said LifeSize founder Craig Malloy has rejoined the company as chief executive officer of the video collaboration business and senior vice president of Logitech.
Ireland-based drug maker Shire Plc. reported higher net income of $64.0 million for the fourth quarter, compared to $42.0 million last year.
Beverage cans maker Rexam Plc. announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a 51 percent stake in United Arab Can Manufacturing for $122 million.
Dassault SystÃ¨mes has commenced a cash tender offer for Accelrys' outstanding common shares at a price of $12.50 a share pursuant to the prior announced merger deal dated January 30, 2014 between the companies.
The European markets ended Thursday's session with mixed results, as fresh political uncertainty in Italy and mixed corporate earnings kept investors cautious following six consecutive sessions of gains. The German DAX rose 0.6 percent and France's CAC 40 edged up 0.2 percent, while the FTSE 100 of the U.K. eased 0.2 percent.
U.S. stocks closed higher overnight as solid earnings from companies such as Goodyear Tire & Rubber and CBS and Comcast Corp's deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion in stock outweighed disappointing retail sales and jobless claims data. Analysts blamed bad weather for an unexpected fall in retail sales in January and a rise in filings for jobless benefits last week. The Dow rose 0.4 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.6 percent.
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